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Poaching Scientists

By: Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich


As the New York Times glaring headlines of October 26th announced that the draft sanctions would restrict students, and that according to European diplomats it would involve visa bans and restrictions on Iranian students who wanted to study nuclear physics and sciences at foreign universities and colleges, I was reminded of two other headlines: “U.S. Sanitizing of Nazis to help space program,”[i] and “America’s Iran watchers flock to Dubai”[ii].  


It would be deeply offensive to my own sense of nationalism if I were to make a comparison to  Christopher Simpson’s book on U.S.’ space program; I must therefore emphasize that it is not my intention to make a link  between the peoples of the two nations and their characters,  but rather to compare the knowledge of the scientists of each and tie it in with the second article cited.  More importantly, to make an association in which  America shamelessly draws on talent from without her shores in order to advance her interests. 


According to Simpson, although the US had declared war on Germany and professed its profound aversion to the Nazis, it did not hesitate to bring over the German scientists even some of the ones who had been involved in the terror bombing of England.  The questionable characters of the scientists were not an issue if it meant the progress of the U.S. space program.  Today, although this Administration has planted seeds of hatred and mistrust into the American public towards Iran in preparation for war, nonetheless, it seems to prize Iranian scientists.


Access to these prizes has been facilitated by wrongfully hauling Iran before the Security Council.  Sanctions, a prelude to a pre-planned war, will enable the United States to drain Iran of her brain power.  The draft resolution which was announced on October 26th  comes 13 days on the heels of an announcement that the US has opened an Iran office in Dubai.  While other countries will be banned from having Iranian students, through this vetting office, America alone will once again be able to bring all the brain power to her shores. 

No doubt candidates will be screened to determine whether they would serve America’s interests or whether they should be branded as ‘students’ who should not be allowed to study abroad.   “One U.S. diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity because he lacked clearance to speak publicly, said the Iran office seeks to arrange scholarly conferences and recruit Iranians to study or teach in the United States. [iii].    As articulated by Congressman Paul, the Dollar hegemony and the US military might has spoiled the national character[iv].  The US attacks countries and steals resources, including their brain-power, unable to produce any of her own.

One must surely wonder if the ‘Dubai-recruited’ Iranians will study/teach sciences. One must also wonder if the ‘Iran Resolution’ will be re-drafted to ‘sanction’ Iranians studying other programs abroad.  After all, thanks to social sciences that unmask ugly policies affecting lives around the world, Iranians (and others) have been awakened to the truth; and it is this truth that inks the pen which is mightier than the sword.  


[i] New York Times Book Review

... Payvand News - 11/1/06 ... --

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